Cooly Rocks On awarded top honour at Queensland Tourism Awards

WORDS: Kesha West​​ PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

Australia’s favourite nostalgia festival Cooly Rocks On has been awarded Gold in the Major Festivals and Events category at the prestigious Queensland Tourism Awards on the Gold Coast overnight in front of industry leaders and peers.

Held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, the awards recognise the outstanding achievements of the state’s tourism industry, including individuals, businesses, and events.

Proudly produced by Major Events Gold Coast, Cooly Rocks On is one of the largest and most authentic nostalgia festivals in Australia celebrating the motors, music, and lifestyle of yesteryear. In 2022, more than 136,000 visitors enjoyed the five-day festival held in the iconic beachside destination of Coolangatta.

“We love this festival, and the team work really hard to ensure we produce an event that is authentic to the era it celebrates, and also something the local community continues to be proud of, and get involved with, every year, ” said Major Events Gold Coast Director of Festivals and Events Mark Duckworth, who accepted the award last night.

“This award is recognition that we have been able to create a unique festival experience for the tens of thousands of visitors that come from right around Australia and overseas to participate in and enjoy, and we couldn’t be happier.”

The annual festival has grown to be one of Australia’s biggest showcases of classic cars with more than 900 cars displayed in 2022. It also features a lineup of the best rockabilly, swing, rock ‘n’ roll and tribute artists, with Indonesian Rockabilly band The Hydrant among the standouts of this year’s festival.

Among the other festival highlights is the Pin-up Pageant and the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, one of only 10 worldwide acknowledged by Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick said she was thrilled Cooly Rocks On had taken out the top award. “Cooly Rocks On is just one of those really unique festivals that people fall in love with, you can’t help but have a good time in the winter sunshine at this festival, it’s infectious,” said Ms McCormick. “I am so proud of our entire team, who work tirelessly each year to deliver not just Cooly Rocks On but three other fantastic music festivals: Blues on Broadbeach, SPRINGTIME and Groundwater Country Music Festival.

Major Events Gold Coast would like to thank the City of Gold Coast and our Cooly Rocks On 2022 Sponsor Family – Tourism and Events Queensland, Indian Motorcycle, Celebrity InkTM Coolangatta and The Strand.

The QTIC Gold Award means Cooly Rocks On will automatically be entered into the running to win an award at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

The 12th Cooly Rocks On will be held from 7 – 11 June 2023.

Cooly Rocks On is supported by the Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, and is a feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.